LETTER – Rock Creek Fair was a blast

Letter to the editor from a Rock Creek volunteer and fan.

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To the Editor,

This year’s Rock Creek and Boundary Fall Fair is being called the best ever by many people both locals and visitors alike.

Though it was not the largest attendance ever mostly due to the Summerland Fall Fair falling on the same weekend, the crowds were steady and the energy was electric. The fair was officially opened by Her Honour Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon who said she was very impressed by the huge number of volunteers who put the fair together and how well everything was coordinated.

These statements were echoed by many other visitors, such as the president of the Interior Provincial Exhibition who said it was “the best effort of a small town fair he has ever seen.”

The stage was hopping all weekend with local Boundary acts like Laela Heidt, Grand Forks’ Sock Monkey Band, John Vere and Rock Creek’s own Cullpeppers, and the fine finger picking and harmonies of Timely Wonders out of Kelowna.

Things got even better as the fair went on, with the Pernell Reichart Band wowing the crowds with their innovative and exciting brand of up beat country and rockabilly music. Rick Valiant provided something for the older generation as he did Songs of Sinatra, covering some of the greatest hits of the “Chairman of the Board.”

The arena was also a buzz of activity Saturday culminating with the wildest events of all, the always popular lawn mower races and this year’s additions of remote control car racing, quad chuckwagon races and quad soccer which drew huge gasps and screams from the crowd.

The energy and vibe could be felt by all who attended and as the sun began to set, Tim Hus and his band kept everyone clapping and dancing with his amazing style of country music well into the night, debuting his new album, “Western Star.” Tim made several comments about what a great venue it was and how good a job the organization and volunteers did in putting everything together.

This year the fair had one of the largest number of sponsors ever and the large billboard at the main gates paid tribute to all of them as guests arrived. On stage the medal sponsors were also recognized with banners of thanks, next to the fair logo and theme “Powered by Volunteers.”

Sunday things just kept getting better with the gymkhana and horse events in the arena and more action on stage. Tim Hus once again had the crowds clapping hands and tapping feet as he opened the Sunday event before heading off for another show.

As the clock neared two in the afternoon the crowds around the stage grew as people waited for children’s entertainer Fred Penner to take the stage, which he did with gusto. Fred gave an incredible performance that had the huge crowd of parents, grandparents and children clapping and singing along to all of the many favorites from his more than a decade on television.

The antics of Fred and his comrades had everyone laughing as he made himself a part of the community. Fred told the large crowd that this was the best country fair he has attended and he was very impressed by the volunteers and the overall camaraderie he felt as he walked throughout the grounds and buildings meeting people and taking in the exhibits and booths.

One of the high points of the show was when Fred asked some of the many children watching to join him on stage to sing a song together which had a few people reaching for tissues. After playing an extra long encore, Fred sat and took time to meet all of those who wanted to say hello, sign autographs, CD’s and DVD’s, and even an old original vinyl album that Travis Eek brought which he was given as a child. All in all it was one of the best shows to come to Rock Creek ever.

Later, Fred was back to join many of the acts in a showcase finale of Gordon Lightfoot songs which was very informal and had all of the musicians doing versions of some of Gord’s greatest hits.

All in all, it was a great two days and during the whole event the new power station ran smoothly to assure there were no problems with electricity. Many people commented that they have never seen the grounds look so good, once again due to the huge number of volunteers who came out week after week to fix and prepare things, capped off by the beautiful flowers and plants provided by Hansinger Nursery.

The Rock Creek Fall Fair Association is at its highest level of membership ever and everyone is looking forward to keeping this momentum going as we look forward to next year’s event.

“Powered by Volunteers” could not have been a better theme and you could see it all over the fair as they smiled at visitors and gave each other high fives throughout both days.

Terry Keough, Fall Fair stage and advertising convener

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